Submitted by his wife
Carl E. Sherman of 173 Dunham Street‚ Southington‚ Connecticut was a founding member of Southington Volunteer Fire Company Number Five. During his service with the company he had served as Captain and Training Officer. Carl truly enjoyed his thirty plus years of service.
He took special joy in training new members of the company. Carl was a born teacher and had an abundance of the ‘common sense’ that seems so uncommon in the world today. After his death‚ his family heard countless stories of how the members of the company would turn to him to solve problems‚ fix things and remember obscure information. At his funeral service one young firefighter‚ known to all as Spanky‚ told those gathered about Carl teaching him how to drive the fire truck. Apparently‚ the young man had gotten too close to something and damaged the mirror on the truck. Carl took the blame for the damage and never told anyone‚ even his own family‚ what had really happened. Carl took great joy and pride in seeing this young firefighter grow through his service. Spanky eventually became a full-time paid firefighter and Carl would not have been more proud if it had been his own son.
Carl always needed to have something to tinker with so he made a project of building a small car that resembled an antique fire buggy. He named it ‘Chief’s Car’ in honor of his father who had been nicknamed ‘Chief.’ He built it from scratch improvising parts from here and there and having a friend help with the welding. He was always on the lookout for parts that he could use. Two of the most memorable were the finial from an old lamp that he used to hide a screw head‚ and an antique fire nozzle that served as the handle on the steering mechanism. He even traveled to Amish Country in Pennsylvania to find a harness maker who would make patent leather fenders for the car. Carl took great pride in traveling all over the state to ride the car in fire parades. His wife‚ Kay‚ and their Jack Russell terrier‚ Scotchie‚ often joined him for the ride.
Carl was a retired employee of Marino Crane Service in Middletown‚ Connecticut. He worked as a crane operator and heavy equipment painter. Carl’s non-firefighting interests including restoring antique trucks‚ travel and camping. After his retirement‚ Carl‚ his wife Kay and dog Scotchie spent the winters in Florida. They often took the ‘scenic’ route so they could visit new places and old friends along the way. They spent most of their summers at their second home in Maine so they could be near their families.
Carl was a loving and gifted man. He died of cardiac arrest at the age of 66 on January 4‚ 2005‚ hours after returning from a training exercise at the firehouse. He is survived by his wife Kay‚ daughter Wendy and dear friend Jackie. He also leaves a grandson‚ Justin Carl‚ who was eagerly anticipated‚ but not yet born at the time of Carl’s death.